St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin was unable to hide his relief after his side toppled Hearts in a huge bottom-of-the-table clash at the Simple Digital Arena.
The Buddies ran out 1-0 winners against the Jambos to put six points between the sides in the table.
St Mirren are up to ninth with the win, and now have a two-point lead over Hamilton, who drop back into the relegation play-off place as a result.
It was a really poor performance from the visitors given what was at stake, and Jonathan Obika’s goal early in the second half should have prompted a response, but in truth Daniel Stendel’s side never looked like equalising.
Given the enormity of the occasion, it ended up being a relatively stress-free clash for St Mirren, who will take massive encouragement from the win, especially after Hamilton’s recent results.
Speaking after the game, Goodwin paid tribute to his players. He said: “I am delighted. It’s a big night for the club, the biggest game of the season.
“It was massive that we didn’t lose the game first and foremost. In my own head, I wanted to make sure we kept the gap at three points at least.
“The fact we’re sitting here now and we’ve managed to extend that gap to six points is a huge relief.
“Sometimes managers get credit for tactics or formations or different systems or the changes that they make during the game but tonight’s not about me. I can take no credit for that there tonight. That was a performance that the players deserve all the plaudits for.
“It was a performance of sheer attitude, character, desire, resilience – everything that you want from a group of players I felt I got tonight and there wasn’t one below-par [individual] performance. I’m really, really pleased.”